Surveillance City. Digital Transformation of Urban Governance in Autocratic Regimes
A new sociotechnical governance model “digital autocracy”, has appeared and started to spread throughout the world in the recent years. Its appearance became possible by reason of structural transformation of neoliberalism: a formation of platform economy based on digital infrastructure and big data. The emergence of digital autocracies was not a result of the governing class’s initial plan to use the internet politically. This is a constellation of many factors that formed in the process of adaptation of political regimes in a number of countries to external (global economic competition, external political conflicts) and internal (political destabilization) challenges. The article is devoted to studying the place and role of smart cities in the sociotechnical governance model of digital autocracies. The smart city functioning specifics in an institutional landscape of political regimes that use a digital infrastructure as a tool to control society have been analyzed on a number of examples. Separately, the article analyzes problems related to the use of data in urban governance: excessive data extraction and non-transparency of state information systems.